Motives, perceptions and experiences of electric bicycle owners and implications for health, wellbeing and mobility

The following article is with permission from Tim Jones, Tim Jones Open Access Licence

Journal of Transport Geography Short-cut to main page link.

Certainly a very good read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand children’s cycle safety scrutinised

Credit goes to Rebecca Bromell for the research & writing of this article and to the Child Injury Prevention Foundation New Zealand.

Otago University

A new University of Otago study of 8–12-year-old New Zealand children’s bicycle safety has found that many children aged under 11 are unable to safely complete a practical cycling skills assessment.

More than 220 pupils at four Central Otago primary schools were assessed on their cycling skills as part of a study carried out by Otago medical student Rebecca Bromell in Alexandra, Omakau and Clyde.

They were tested on their ability to start biking, to perform left-hand, right-hand and stop turning signals for at least three seconds, and to look over their right shoulder and identify a potential hazard, all while maintaining control of their bicycles and without straying outside the lines of a model cycle way.

More than one-quarter of eight-year-olds (25.6%) were found to be unable to complete the assessment without losing control of their bicycles or veering out of the cycle lane. Around 23 per cent of 10-year-olds were also not able to complete the assessment safely.

In contrast, the percentage of those aged 11 and 12 who completed the tasks safely was 91 and 93 per cent, respectively.

The research also involved a questionnaire to assess the children’s cycle safety knowledge and a check of their bicycles and helmets.

Of the 200 children for whom there was usable questionnaire data, only 42 per cent knew the correct hand signals for both turning and stopping and only four per cent knew the correct amount of time a hand signal should be performed for, which is at least three seconds.

Ms Bromell, who undertook the research for the Child Injury Prevention Foundation, says that she sought to explore factors contributing to children’s risk of having, or being injured in the event of, an accident while cycling.

“Between 2000 and 2014 in New Zealand 9,192 cyclists 14 and under were hospitalised for non-fatal injuries and 37 children died in cycling-related incidents between 2000 and 2012,” she says.

“Currently the New Zealand Police and New Zealand Transport Agency recommend that ‘children under 10 years old cycle on the road only when accompanied by a competent adult rider’.”

“However as the study showed, one in four 10-year-olds were not able to perform the practical assessment without losing control of their bicycles or veering out of the cycle lane, but this number dropped to one in ten of 11-year-olds,” she says.

Ms Bromell says these findings suggest that parents should confirm for themselves that their child is aware of and understands the road rules, and is competent at performing the required hand signals and other manoeuvres necessary to cycle safely.

Of the 214 helmets checked in the study, 41 per cent were deemed “unsafe” because either the helmet was damaged, worn incorrectly, or there were problems with the straps being either too loose and/or wrongly positioned.

Eighty-five of the 205 bicycles checked (41%) were not considered roadworthy by the cycle store staff assessing them. Three-quarters of these non-roadworthy bicycles had worn brake pads, which would impede the ability to make an emergency stop.

While not included in the roadworthiness criteria, 60 (29%) of the 205 bicycles were found to have badly underinflated tyres, which would make them less manoeuvrable.

Around two-thirds of the children in the study said they usually rode their bicycles to school. Helmet safety and roadworthiness data were available for 127 of these children. This showed that nearly 60 per cent had either a bicycle that was not considered roadworthy or a helmet that was judged “unsafe”.

Ms Bromell says there are several important recommendations emerging from the study results.

  • Parents should be careful to check that their child’s helmet is of the proper size, worn correctly, and in good condition.
  • Children’s bicycles should undergo regular maintenance and tyre pressure and brake pads should be frequently checked.
  • Parents should enrol children in cycle skills courses where these are available, but not rely solely on these as “proof” of their child’s competence.

A PDF of the study report is available upon request.

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Bromell
Email brore603@student.otago.ac.nz 

Paeroa, New Zealand The BIG Bicycle Intersection at the hub of the Hauraki Rail Trail

Paeroa, New Zealand

The BIG Bicycle Intersection at the hub of the Hauraki Rail Trail

BUYING REAL ESTATE in Paeroa, New Zealand. Realestate New Zealand Wanting a fresh start for your company or business. How about going carbon neutral. Wanting to escape the BIG City life…

 

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Pashley Bicycles UK   Blackwell and Son’s New Zealand

Leave your car in the garage & throw away your key’s…You won’t need them.

 

Take a LOOK at whats awaiting on your doorstep in Paeroa.

Walk or Bicycle 2 Town.
Hauraki Rail Trail linking Te Aroha, Thames, Karangahake, Waikino & Waihi are on your door step & soon to open Thames to Kaiawa plus Te Aroha to Matamata. (Grade A Easy).

Public schools, library, cafe’s, shopping, sports facilities, churches, engineering, farming, boating, canoe’ng, tramping, bowls, croquet, Te Aroha Mineral Spa’s                      retirement living, hospital rest homes, plus more…all at easy safe bicycle & walking distance.

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Like Golf? Hurl the clubs into your Cargo Bike & we will see you at The Paeroa Golf Club

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Metrofiets Cargo Bikes   Bicycle Junction Wellington

Want more bicycling, you have the freedom to travel around back roads…bicycle past beautiful farms, lambs, sheep, cows, homesteads, alongside rivers & streams, stop off for a picnic under the tree’s or ontop of a hill. Of course plenty of wineries, cafes, pottery shops, train rides,  DOC camp sites, fishing alongside the Hauraki Rail Trail route. More views from a-top Karangahake Mountain. Like golf, hurl the clubs into your cargo bike & see you at the first hole.

All it take’s is to find your warm cozy home & begin your new life & journey.

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Look’s like this old timer is in no need for a retirement village just yet.

Paeroa, New Zealand

The BIG Bicycle Intersection at the hub of the Hauraki Rail Trail

Bike Auckland Latest Bicycle Count is Impressive

The following article ran like a rabbit to the green grass of Cycle Action Paeroa.

Written by Bike Auckland

STATISTICSThe network effect – boom! Sharde

BIKE AUCKLAND April 15, 2016 09:31 AM

Auckland Transport’s official March 2016 bike count data is up, and it makes a pretty compelling case for the old saying ‘if you build it, they will come.’ And also, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’
Check out these graphs our brothers-in-arms at Transport Blog compiled. The first confirms that if you think the Northwestern Cycleway has been feeling busier than ever lately… you’re absolutely right.

TBKingslandMarch2016

Some quick thoughts on this one:

  • we’re seeing >10% growth year on year
  • whereas previous years show a significant drop-off from November to December, in 2015 there’s barely a dip. Is this the magnetic effect of the Pink Path and the new protected lanes on Nelson St drawing people into the city?
  • the best month in any given year always beats the previous year – i.e. if you draw a line between the high points, you can see the ‘high tide’ steadily trending up – whereas the minimum ‘low tide’ has a flatter growth pattern… until 2015.
  • what’s new: the mid-winter ‘minimum’ in July 2015 is notably higher than in previous years, indicating that more people are cycling year-round.
  • all of this suggests that 2015 marks a turning point in commuter behaviour as well as absolute numbers – with people more likely to keep going through the colder months, and less likely to stop cycling over Christmas.
  • also worth noting that absolute numbers are up despite a series of complicated works along the Causeway (kudos to the Causeway Alliance for maintaining a direct connection despite some challenging conditions) and the six-month detour at St Luke’s (cheers to the crew there for getting it finished by Easter) – another testament to the perseverance of our growing community of bike commuters!

 

Meanwhile, over on Grafton Gully:

TBGraftonMarch2016
TBGraftonMarch2016

  • Look at that leap from Nov to Dec 2015 – the complete opposite of 2014’s Nov-Dec dip! That can only be the Lightpath effect, with the GG path now officially part of a loop for recreational riding towards a dramatic destination. And look at how it keeps on heading up!
  • This certainly accords with the impressive Lightpath trip data – as well as with the anecdata we keep hearing about all ages of people being tempted back onto a bike and into the city for the first time in years.
  • Also, from earlier data, we also know that Grafton Gully is not in a zero-sum game with Symonds Street – the combined trip numbers are on the up and up – plus, we know that Grafton Gully is attracting people who are new to bike-commuting.
  • And remember: Grafton Gully’s only been open a year and a half, the full Beach Rd cycleway is only six months old, and we have Quay St and the second half of Nelson St on the way by the middle of the year… so there’s plenty more network effect to come!

Now, it must be said both of these graphs end on a cliffhanger. Traditionally, cycle trip numbers drop off in April with the end of daylight saving, regardless of what the weather does. (Pro tip: get your bike lights and reflective gear sorted ASAP).
[It must also be said that this is a snapshot of the busiest paths. There are many more stories to be told in the data from across the city – if you’re a numbers fan or a data-viz whiz, get in amongst it and send us your thoughts and pictures!]
In the meantime… will our new cohort of steadfast citybound commuters and gleeful weekenders thin out, now that winter is coming? Or will the numbers just keep on climbing?
Tune in next month to find out!
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47Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)47Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)STATISTICS

The network effect – boom!

BIKE AUCKLAND April 15, 2016 09:31 AM

Auckland Transport’s official March 2016 bike count data is up, and it makes a pretty compelling case for the old saying ‘if you build it, they will come.’ And also, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’
Check out these graphs our brothers-in-arms at Transport Blog compiled. The first confirms that if you think the Northwestern Cycleway has been feeling busier than ever lately… you’re absolutely right.
TBKingslandMarch2016
Some quick thoughts on this one:
we’re seeing >10% growth year on year

whereas previous years show a significant drop-off from November to December, in 2015 there’s barely a dip. Is this the magnetic effect of the Pink Path and the new protected lanes on Nelson St drawing people into the city?

the best month in any given year always beats the previous year – i.e. if you draw a line between the high points, you can see the ‘high tide’ steadily trending up – whereas the minimum ‘low tide’ has a flatter growth pattern… until 2015.

what’s new: the mid-winter ‘minimum’ in July 2015 is notably higher than in previous years, indicating that more people are cycling year-round.

all of this suggests that 2015 marks a turning point in commuter behaviour as well as absolute numbers – with people more likely to keep going through the colder months, and less likely to stop cycling over Christmas.

also worth noting that absolute numbers are up despite a series of complicated works along the Causeway (kudos to the Causeway Alliance for maintaining a direct connection despite some challenging conditions) and the six-month detour at St Luke’s (cheers to the crew there for getting it finished by Easter) – another testament to the perseverance of our growing community of bike commuters!

Meanwhile, over on Grafton Gully:
TBGraftonMarch2016
Look at that leap from Nov to Dec 2015 – the complete opposite of 2014’s Nov-Dec dip! That can only be the Lightpath effect, with the GG path now officially part of a loop for recreational riding towards a dramatic destination. And look at how it keeps on heading up!

This certainly accords with the impressive Lightpath trip data – as well as with the anecdata we keep hearing about all ages of people being tempted back onto a bike and into the city for the first time in years.

Also, from earlier data, we also know that Grafton Gully is not in a zero-sum game with Symonds Street – the combined trip numbers are on the up and up – plus, we know that Grafton Gully is attracting people who are new to bike-commuting.

And remember: Grafton Gully’s only been open a year and a half, the full Beach Rd cycleway is only six months old, and we have Quay St and the second half of Nelson St on the way by the middle of the year… so there’s plenty more network effect to come!

Now, it must be said both of these graphs end on a cliffhanger. Traditionally, cycle trip numbers drop off in April with the end of daylight saving, regardless of what the weather does. (Pro tip: get your bike lights and reflective gear sorted ASAP).
[It must also be said that this is a snapshot of the busiest paths. There are many more stories to be told in the data from across the city – if you’re a numbers fan or a data-viz whiz, get in amongst it and send us your thoughts and pictures!]
In the meantime… will our new cohort of steadfast citybound commuters and gleeful weekenders thin out, now that winter is coming? Or will the numbers just keep on climbing?
Tune in next month to find out!

Bike to the Future Awards

The Bike to the Future Awards celebrate New Zealand achievements in advancing a more bike-friendly environment and culture. 

We invite you or your organisation to nominate a project, organisation or person that showcases cycling excellence and deserves national recognition.  Self-nominations welcome!

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Complete our online nomination form

 

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Entries must be received by Friday 27 May 2016.

Nominations are for cycling projects/champions for the period 1 July 2014 – 30 June 2016 and will be received for the following categories (details on categories below):

  • Innovation Hub Award
  • Taking Communities on the Journey Award
  • Big Bike Bling Award
  • Get On Yer Bike Award
  • Bikes in Business Award
  • Outstanding contribution to a bike-friendly future

Awards will be presented on 7 July 2016 in Auckland at the 2WalkandCycle Conference

(external link)

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Questions

If you have any questions about the awards please email  cyclelife@nzta.govt.nz.

Entry requirements

  • Details of the person making the nomination
  • Details of the nominee
  • A 100 word summary about the nominated project/organisation/person
  • Information on how the project/organisation/person meets the five main judging criteria, noting usage survey results if applicable. If an entry is a route, please note connections to bus/rail, city/town centre, businesses, shops, schools, hospital,  medical centres, etc.

Judging criteria

  • Coverage, in terms of number of potential people affected by this initiative/person
  • Success to date of the initiative/person in encouraging more people to bike
  • Potential applicability of the initiative to other locations or organisations/level of commitment demonstrated
  • Relative uniqueness and innovation of this initiative/person’s actions
  • The extent to which partnerships were leveraged to achieve a result 

Entries require one supporting image (at least 500KB) and can include supporting letters from community groups and other organsations.

The Bike to the Future Awards are a join initiative by the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Cycling Action Network www.can.org.nz

(external link)

To sponsor a category in the 2016 Bike to the Future Awards please contact Awards@can.org.nz

Award categories information

Innovation Hub Award

This category covers the design, engineering or construction of a cycling facility. May relate to innovative processes, materials, designs, partnerships, procurement or delivery models. 

Nominations can be for an individuals, business, or government organisations.

Taking Communities on the Journey Award

This category covers excellence in communications or community engagement activities related to a cycling project that resulted in a community welcoming new infrastructure.   

Nominations will typically be received for central or local government agencies or community groups e.g. Councils, health boards, regional sports trusts, schools or universities.

Big Bike Bling Award

This category covers transport infrastructure projects that have had the most significant impact on encouraging more people to ride and creating a bike-friendly future.

E.g. new cycle ways, cycle parking facilities, or general roading projects that assist and encourage more people to bike.

Nominations are typically received for projects undertaken by local or central government agencies, or businesses.

Get On Yer Bike Award

This category covers education or encouragement projects that have had a significant impact on encouraging more people to bike.

Nominations range from individuals, business, to government organisations.  E.g. school education programmes, promotional cycling events and campaigns.

Bikes in Business Award

This category covers businesses and organisations that have made significant efforts to encourage and support cycling for its staff, customers, and/or clients.

E.g. cyclist parking / changing facilities, employee support and incentive programmes, and company ‘pool’ bikes.

Outstanding contribution to a bike-friendly future:

This category recognises the outstanding contribution made by an individual New Zealander to the promotion of cycling.

The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life

Considering the constant fatalities, rampant pollution, and exorbitant costs of ownership, is the car’s dominance a little insane?

Written by Edward Humes.

The car is the star. That’s been true for well over a century—unrivaled staying power for an industrial-age, pistons-and-brute-force machine in an era so dominated by silicon and software. Cars conquered the daily culture of American life back when top hats and child labor were in vogue, and well ahead of such other innovations as radio, plastic, refrigerators, the electrical grid, and women’s suffrage.

A big part of why they’ve stuck around is that they are the epitome of convenience. That’s the allure and the promise that’s kept drivers hooked, dating all the way back to the versatile, do-everything Ford Model T. Convenience (some might call it freedom) is not a selling point to be easily dismissed—this trusty conveyance, always there, always ready, on no schedule but its owner’s. Buses can’t do that. Trains can’t do that. Even Uber makes riders wait.

START “RELATED STORY” SINGLE STORY BOX v2.0

RELATED STORY

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.

END “RELATED STORY” SINGLE STORY BOX

But convenience, along with American history, culture, rituals, and man-machine affection, hide the true cost and nature of cars. And what is that nature? Simply this: In almost every way imaginable, the car, as it is deployed and used today, is insane.

What are the failings of cars? First and foremost, they are profligate wasters of money and fuel: More than 80 cents of every dollar spent on gasoline is squandered by the inherent inefficiencies of the modern internal combustion engine. No part of daily life wastes more energy and, by extension, more money than the modern automobile. While burning through all that fuel, cars and trucks spew toxins and particulate waste into the atmosphere that induce cancer, lung disease, and asthma. These emissions measurably decrease longevity—not by a matter of days, but years. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculates that 53,000 Americans die prematurely every year from vehicle pollution, losing 10 years of life on average compared to their lifespans in the absence of tailpipe emissions.

There are also the indirect environmental, health, and economic costs of extracting, transporting, and refining oil for vehicle fuels, and the immense national-security costs and risks of being dependent on oil imports for significant amounts of that fuel. As an investment, the car is a massive waste of opportunity—“the world’s most underutilized asset,” the investment firm Morgan Stanley calls it. That’s because the average car sits idle 92 percent of the time. Accounting for all costs, from fuel to insurance to depreciation, the average car owner in the U.S. pays $12,544 a year for a car that puts in a mere 14-hour workweek. Drive an SUV? Tack on another $1,908.14

Then there is the matter of climate. Transportation is a principal cause of the global climate crisis, exacerbated by a stubborn attachment to archaic, wasteful, and inefficient transportation modes and machines. But are cars the true culprit? Airplanes, for instance, are often singled out as the most carbon-intensive form of travel in terms of emissions per passenger-mile (or per ton of cargo), but that’s not the whole story: Total passenger miles by air are miniscule compared to cars. In any given year, 60 percent of American adults never set foot on an airplane, and the vast majority who do fly take only one round trip a year. Unfortunately, air travel is not the primary problem, contributing only 8 percent of U.S. transportation-related greenhouse gases. Cars and trucks, by contrast, pump out a combined 83 percent of transportation carbon.

Annual U.S. highway fatalities outnumber the yearly fatalities of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the War of 1812, and the American Revolution.

Driving an SUV or even a mid-size car from New York to L.A. is worse for the planet than flying there. This is true in part because cars’ fuel efficiency has improved far more slowly than planes’, but also because of Americans’ increasing propensity to drive alone, which has made car travel less efficient and more carbon-intensive per passenger-mile in recent years.

So cars pose the biggest threat on the climate front, with all the costs that global warming imposes on infrastructure, homes, and lives through increasingly severe storms, droughts, rising sea levels, and pressure on food supplies. If the price of gasoline and the vehicles that burn it actually reflected the true costs and damage they inflict, the common car would go extinct. Gasoline would cost way more than $10 a gallon. That’s how big the secret subsidy is.

And that’s not even counting cars’ most dramatic cost: They waste lives. They are one of America’s leading causes of avoidable injury and death, especially among the young. Oddly, the most immediately devastating consequence of the modern car—the carnage it leaves in its wake—seems to generate the least public outcry and attention. Jim McNamara, a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol, where officers spend 80 percent of their time responding to car wrecks, believes such public inattention and apathy arise whenever a problem is “massive but diffuse.” Whether it’s climate change or car crashes, he says, if the problem doesn’t show itself all at once—as when an airliner goes down with dozens or hundreds of people on board—it’s hard to get anyone’s attention. Very few people see what he and his colleagues witness daily and up close: what hurtling tons of metal slamming into concrete and brick and trees and one another does to the human body strapped (or, all too often, not strapped) within.

In contrast, a roadside wreck is experienced by the vast majority of drivers as a nagging but unavoidable inconvenience—just another source of detours and traffic jams. Increasingly popular and powerful smartphone traffic apps eliminate even those brief close encounters with the roadway body count, routing savvy drivers away from crash-related congestion. The typical car wreck is becoming all but invisible to everyone but those who are killed or maimed and those whose job is to clean it up. Many are aware at some level that troubling numbers of people are injured and die in cars, but most remain unfazed by this knowledge.

This disparity in attention between plane crashes and car crashes cannot be justified by their relative death tolls. Quite the contrary: In the 14 years following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there were eight crashes on American soil of passenger planes operated by regional, national, or international carriers. The death toll in those crashes totaled 442. That averages out to fewer than three fatalities a month.

The death toll on America’s streets and highways during that same period since 9/11 was more than 400,000 men, women, and children. The traffic death toll in 2015 exceeded 3,000 a month. When it comes to the number of people who die in car wrecks, America experiences the equivalent of four airliner crashes every week.

A normal day on the road, then, is a “quiet catastrophe,” as Ken Kolosh, the statistics chief for the National Safety Council, calls it. He ought to know: He makes his living crafting the annual statistical compendium of every unintentional injury and death in the country.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 39. They rank in the top five killers for Americans 65 and under (behind cancer, heart disease, accidental poisoning, and suicide). And the direct economic costs alone—the medical bills and emergency-response costs reflected in taxes and insurance payments—represent a tax of $784 on every man, woman, and child living in the U.S.

The numbers are so huge they are not easily grasped, and so are perhaps best understood by a simple comparison: If U.S. roads were a war zone, they would be the most dangerous battlefield the American military has ever encountered. Seriously: Annual U.S. highway fatalities outnumber the yearly war dead during each Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, the War of 1812, and the American Revolution. When all of the injuries from car wrecks are also taken into account, one year of American driving is more dangerous than all those wars put together. The car is the star.

No age barriers to Cycling in Copenhagen

Volunteer-driven ‘Cycling Without Age’ has been a huge success and has taken off worldwide

Written by Derek Scally. Twitter. @DerekinBerlin 

Link to the full article bellow…

No age barriers to Cycling in Copenhagen

It’s a blustery spring day in Copenhagen and Birthle, an elegant older woman, is waiting impatiently with her coat on to go for a bike ride.

Birthle is 99 years old and though she looks years younger, she is not planning to cycle herself. Instead she is waiting in her care home’s lobby for the arrival of her pilot, a cheery young man called Theis.

He is a volunteer with “Cycling Without Age”, a programme that began life here four years ago and has since taken the world by storm.